While I haven’t yet dared download the Pokémon GO game yet, it is all many of us have been hearing about on the news, radio, and social media. However, some of the publicity the game is receiving has been negative. Fake versions of the game, riddled with malware were found on the Google play store last week.
One version of the game appeared in the app store as ‘Pokemon Go Ultimate’ but once installed it appeared as PI Network on an Android device. The program would freeze upon launch and force users to reboot the device. Once the device was rebooted, the PI Network icon disappeared and a fake lock screen program would run in the background, silently clicking on online ads. Other fake applications, such as guides and cheats were also found on the Google Play store. These were found to have scareware ads to trick consumers to pay for unnecessary services such as extra Pokecoins, Pokeballs, or lucky eggs. Not surprisingly, these apps did not deliver! Apps like these also trick users into “verifying their accounts” to get them to subscribe to expensive and fake services. These same apps also display fake pop-up alerts, that claim the device has been infected and needs to be “cleaned”.
I encourage all of you to spread awareness and to be careful of what you are downloading. Be mindful of the information you share with third parties. Remember, your personal information is PERSONAL Happy gaming!